De Lima marks 2nd birthday in jail with new book

MANILA, Philippines – To mark her second birthday in jail, Senator Leila de Lima will launch another book on her views on issues and reflections about her life behind bars.

De Lima's new book, Fight for Freedom and Other Writings, will be formally launched in Quezon City on Sunday, August 26, the eve of her birthday. She will turn 59 on Monday, August 27.

Fight for Freedom and Other Writings collects her speeches, letters, and notes, as well as letters of support from prominent personalities such as Vice President Leni Robredo, former Hong Kong Legislative Council Member Emily Lau, and Liberal International President Juli Minoves.

The detained senator dedicated the book to her family, friends, and supporters. She also has messages to her "oppressors" and the Filipino people.

"To my oppressors, jailing me despite my innocence is your burden to keep. To the Filipino people: No matter the persecution, I will never stop fighting. [This book] is dedicated to family, friends, and supporters who cry out for my freedom," the senator wrote in the dedication page of the book.

Former president Benigno Aquino III wrote the foreword of the new book of his former justice secretary. (READ: EXPLAINER: Issues on jurisdiction in De Lima cases)

"As it stands, this collection sends a clear message: If injustice could be done to Leila, a sitting senator, injustice could be done to anyone. One therefore is challenged to make a personal inquiry: What could I do; and if I have done something, is it enough?" Aquino wrote.

To mark her first year in detention in February 2018, De Lima published her first book, Dispatches from Crame I which contains more than 100 handwritten statements since she was detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame. (READ: De Lima: One year of living and surviving in jail)

De Lima was arrested late February 2017 over what she and her allies called trumped-up drug charges. The senator is one of the most outspoken  critics of President Rodrigo Duterte and his bloody campaign against illegal drugs. READ: EXPLAINER: What is Leila de Lima being accused of? –